The bottom fell out of the Academy Awards ceremony in 2008 when only 32 million tuned in for the annual awards telecast. It was all all-time low going back to 1980 and the failure was hard-earned. Throughout the aughts, Hollywood itself and the Big Telecast had become a hotbed of obnoxious, mean-spirited, anti-Bush, anti-American leftism. The ratings were a catastrophe, a public relations fiasco, and a major embarrassment.
This year, the Oscars are back to something close to normal. 43 million tuned in to see if “12 Years a Slave” would take the gold from “Gravity.” That’s a ten-year high.
One factor that might have contributed to Oscar’s slow climb back might be that since Barack Obama won the White House, the Oscar telecast has been noticeably free of divisive political statements. Rather than the night being defined by Michael Moore screaming about Bush, Jon Stewart mocking Dick Cheney, or George Clooney proclaiming how proud he is to be out of touch, the last four or five years have been refreshingly apolitical.
Things are almost to a point where an America-loving, conservative Christian can relax and watch the Oscars without bracing himself for a sucker punch.
Without all that boorish, smug, divisive political behavior defining the night, people appear to be tuning in again.
Who would have ever guessed?